Visiting Artists

MCBA offers in-person and virtual workshops in book arts—from letterpress printing to paper marbling and everything in between! Designed for adults looking to spark their creativity and professionals aiming to hone their technique, MCBA’s workshops feature intimate class sizes and hands-on experiences using process-specific equipment, including technology designed and built in the 19th and 20th centuries, and artisan-built equipment made today. Workshops focus on building skills in a specific process, which often leads to a physical takeaway like a bound book, a letterpress printed poster, a screen printed zine, or a sheet of paper made or marbled by hand.

Teaching artists bring a wide range of education and experience along with a mission to inspire connection and creativity. Workshops are designed to balance lecture, demonstration, work time, and group sharing.

Workshops are eligible for credit toward MCBA’s Certificate programs. Enrollees receive a 20% discount on tuition. MCBA members receive a 10% discount on tuition.

Have questions about registration or recording policies? Check out MCBA’s Workshop & Studio Lab Policies and FAQs. If you are a teaching artist, you can propose a workshop here. Add your name to a wait list if a workshop you’d like to take is full. You’ll be contacted if another section of the workshop is scheduled.

Pre-Xerox Copier Technology + DIY Publishing

with Rich Dana
Saturday–Sunday, June 17 & 18; 10am–4pm CT

Before there was social media, even before photocopied zines, marginalized artists and writers found ways to publish their creations using stencil prints (mimeographs) and dye-transfer prints (hectographs). Developed for copying documents without the use of a printing press, these quick and cheap techniques have been used by outsider artists and poets, political dissidents, and underground publishers since the 1800s. This in-person workshop explores pre-Xerox copier technologies and how contemporary artists and writers can use them to publish small editions of zines, chapbooks, prints, and flyers. Continue reading “Pre-Xerox Copier Technology + DIY Publishing”

Vietnamese Papermaking

with Veronica Pham
Saturday, June 17; 10am–4pm and Sunday, June 18; 1–4pm CT

Traditional papermaking in Vietnam dates back seventeen centuries; however, colonization, war, and rapid industrialization have rendered this ancient craft nearly extinct. Learn traditional Vietnamese papermaking techniques using the liềm seo (bamboo woven screen) and khung seo (two-part bamboo frame) in this in-person workshop. Various local plants like hemp, invasive bamboo, mulberry, and prairie grass will be used to showcase differences in fiber length and strength in sheet formation. Continue reading “Vietnamese Papermaking”

Ink-Making from Ecology: Grounded in Place

with Hannah Chalew
Saturday, June 24; 10am–4pm CT

Explore ways to make art that allow you to connect and collaborate with your environment in this in-person workshop. Learn to make water-based ink with a range of materials from your neighborhood—rusty nails, soil, oak galls, remnants of morning coffee or tea, etc.–and come away with new inks and an understanding of how to find specific colors in your landscape and how to ethically harvest materials to make art. Different materials require different methods of curing, but most materials will be simmered on a stovetop and combined with binding materials, such as gum arabic, to hold it together. Participants are invited to bring ink-making materials to experiment with; we will also take a walk through MCBA’s neighborhood and gather ingredients to “ink-periment” with! Ink made in the workshop can be used for watercolor.
Continue reading “Ink-Making from Ecology: Grounded in Place”

Sustainable Papermaking with Repurposed Paper and Plastic

with Hannah Chalew
Sunday, June 25; 10am–4pm CT

Learn how to make paper as a way of collaborating with your environment. In this in-person workshop, learn how to assemble a simple, inexpensive papermaking workspace and how to make paper with discarded material—old prints or drawings, newspaper, digital prints, and mail—from start to finish. Information will be shared on how to source basic equipment (available at thrift and hardware stores) needed for processing pulp, making sheets, and pressing the handmade paper. Then, we’ll use this DIY method to create paper from a variety of found papers. Participants are encouraged to bring in plastic waste from home or litter collected on the way to MCBA that can be shredded and included in our paper. Instruction will also cover the basics of pulp-painting with the various pulps made in the workshop and ways to create large sheets from a small mould. Continue reading “Sustainable Papermaking with Repurposed Paper and Plastic”

Artist Panel: Paper Is People

moderated by Tia Blassingame and Stephanie Sauer
Tuesday, July 18; 6–7:30pm CT

Join us for a panel conversation between co-curators, Tia Blassingame and Stephanie Sauer, and select exhibiting artists: Page Chang, Hong Hong, Chenta Laury, and Skye Tafoya. This virtual conversation will explore the importance of each artist’s relationship to the tradition of papermaking they practice, and what they are doing to revitalize and adapt those traditions.

Paper Is People: Decolonizing Global Paper Cultures offers a new definition of paper­ within a global and decolonial framework. This exhibition features works by local, national, and international artists and explores the vital role substrates play in human communities and how meaning is made from what we might call paper and papermaking. The exhibition is on view in MCBA’s Main Gallery April 14 through August 12, with a reception on Thursday, June 22. Continue reading “Artist Panel: Paper Is People